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Alternative public spaces for Black arts in the UK: challenges and prospects

By Ola Ogunyemi


The Black arts organisations play a vital role in displaying and perpetuating artistic forms that are distinctive to the culture of Black Minority Ethnic groups (BMEs) in the UK. The hub of this socio-cultural existence is concentrated in the cosmopolitan cities such as London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. However, we have little understanding of their range of artistic forms and of how they exploit cultural opportunities and productivity. Consequently, I explored these issues through ethnographic interviews of two representatives of Black arts organisaitons, ‘The Drum’ and ‘Ewajo - Come and Dance’, and conducted a comparative analysis of their website features. The study found that the Black arts organisations are vibrant in promoting artsform in both shared and self-contained spaces. However, they face a number of challenges including limited contribution to the formulation of cultural policy, location in socio-economically deprived areas, bad publicity, racial prejudice, limited contribution to arts education, and funding. Finally, they gather little personal information about audiences’ taste and interest to enhance the quality of the artsform and performance for the purpose of increasing audience attendance and participation

Topics: P500 Journalism
Publisher: NCBS National Council for Black Studies
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:2981
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